Third Grade GeologistsPosted by Mary Curran
In November, third graders traveled to the CT Audubon for an inquiry based program on geology. They learned that igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic are three types of rocks, and that metamorphic is the most common type of rock found in CT. Third graders worked in collaborative groups and used their investigative skills to gather data about various rocks and minerals. Students observed color and luster, performed tests on hardness and streak and used field guides to identify the type of rock or mineral. Our program continued outside with a hike in the Larsen Sanctuary. Various rocks and minerals were observed along the way, and students used outdoor kits to determine their hardness and streak color. Thank you to the CT Audubon for providing third graders with an engaging introduction to geology and a full morning of hands-on activities.
Layers of the Earth in Clay…and then IRL!Posted by wenyiche
The theme of sixth grade science is Earth Science. As an introduction, students made models of earth out of clay using different colors for different layers. They started with inner core, then added the outer core and mantle finished with a blue and green crust as the outer layer. Once their models were complete, they cut them in half to see all the layers.
We then visited Mianus River Gorge Preserve which is a quarry to examine some of the layers that make up the crust in real life! We hiked and had the chance to examine several minerals – quartz, mica, feldspar. What a nice way to take advantage of a sunny, fall day!
Lifting Our EyesPosted by Vincent O'Hara
The great British explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton once said “If geography itself has any significance it is that we are made to lift our eyes from our small provincial selves to the whole magnificent world.” The seventh-grade humanities students have begun their year-long journey around the world. Studying the aspects of culture, they are learning about how the language, religion, government, daily life, art, economy, history, and social groups make a place unique. Our class is beginning with identifying US geography and from there we will travel due south to South America for our next novel and cultural exploration. Along the way, we will be lifting our eyes to all the beautiful geographic and cultural diversity our world has to offer.
A Walk in the WoodsPosted by Cameron Ross-MacCormack
Fifth graders were super excited to get going on their outdoor, fall field experience last Friday. The goal, to spend the day together, outside, getting to know one another. The group spent the morning walking in a big loop around Paine Open Space in Easton. They trekked across fields, over stone walls and footbridges, noticing fungi and insects and encouraging each other to keep going even with tired feet. They spent the afternoon celebrating with a barbeque, a bonfire and a class dance-off. Reflecting back on their three hour walk, students were nothing but grateful, exclaiming “I can’t believe we get to do this at school!” As individuals, fifth graders surprised themselves with their own strength and endurance and together set a tone of perseverance, trust and solid teamwork for the school year ahead!
The Outdoor ClassroomPosted by Faith Barbuto
Yes, playing outside is fun, healthy and critical to child development and in kindergarten we do lots of it, but we also use the great outdoors to learn! Simple trips to the playground can become engaging math activities, where students are challenged to count objects or find examples of patterns or symmetry. The walk back from a fire drill can become a time to explore spider webs and mystery holes. When the budding scientists were armed with clipboards and asked to make scientific observations using their senses, the outdoor classroom really came alive! Sounds of insects, cars and babbling brooks were recorded. Lots of things we see everyday were more closely examined and noticed, rocks turned over to reveal whole villages of bugs! We smelled flowers, grass and hay – closing our eyes to breathe it all in. Using our hands to discover more about textures we felt rough bark, soft moss and damp grass. Everytime we step outside, a whole new world awaits!
Rain Won’t Stop Us!Posted by Ann Palm
The morning of “Camping Day” was rainy but the PreK students kept a positive attitude and started out camping inside! There we learned about sleeping bags, pack pillows, chairs that collapse into a small package and nesting pots to use for cooking. The idea of having no electricity or running water gave the students a lot to think about. The lantern would supply light, the ice chest would keep things cold, and fire would provide the heat for cooking. And, a parachute draped over a few chairs made a great indoor tent!
After lunch it stopped raining, so we headed out to the Unquowa woods. Seeing a bundle of material change to a tent big enough to fit the entire class inside was amazing! In the tent we beaded necklaces and had quiet activities. Outside we noticed that after the rain, the brook was running faster than usual and we even discovered a waterfall! To top off the day we roasted smores and in true camping fashion we washed our sticky hands in the brook. It was a fun, memorable day for early childhood students and teachers!